October 30, 2022, Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 11:22--12:2 2 Thessalonians 1:11--2:2 Luke 19:1-10
(Please note: I am posting several weeks in advance because I will be away from my desk for a little while. Thanks for visiting this site!)
As is usually the case, there are several spiritual treasures to be found in the readings for today. I won’t pretend to name them all; however, I hope these reflections will help lead you into prayer.
Note that the readings from Wisdom and from the Gospel of Luke both highlight the fact that everything God has created is good. Oh Lord, “…your imperishable spirit is in all things!” (Even a lowly tax collector named Zacchaeus). The world is good! WE are good! This revelation serves to remind us that we are all created with specific gifts and talents that can rightfully be dedicated to building God’s reign on earth.
These readings also make it clear that building a strong and loving relationship with God is a two-way street. God is always inviting us into relationship; but will never force us to accept that invitation. To build the relationship, Zacchaeus had to respond to God’s invitation, and went to GREAT lengths to do so - by climbing a tree and then making generous offers to help the poor and to reimburse (four fold) those he had cheated. And God responded to his generosity…especially the emphatic nature of it. Just as Zacchaeus chose to “move deeper” into his relationship with Jesus, we are - each day - invited to follow his lead. Do we take the time to reflect on God’s invitation - and to act upon it? I know I could be better at answering that call! What about you?
St. Paul reminds us that building a relationship with God should not be based on trying to “beat the clock”. In other words, it is not about trying to get on God’s good side before the end of the world, in order to be spared from the evil one. What it is about is falling in love with God and living that way - not to avoid punishment, but because that loving relationship with God will enhance the quality of our lives and the lives of those with whom we interact…and it will give God great pleasure! True love brings joy and understanding and peace and goodness; and true love with God brings these wonderful virtues in abundance…eternally. Wow, this is all pretty exciting, isn’t it!?
by: Bill Miller